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2021-06-15T03:45:57Z
CheeseheadTV wrote:


The contract details are out for the recently signed ILB, De'Vondre Campbell.  Once again the Packers used four void years even though the deal is in reality just a one-year, $2 million deal.  


Campbell earned $6 million in 2020 on what was essentially a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals last year.  The Cardinals technically signed him to a five-year deal with $1M base salaries for 2020 through 2024 plus a $5 million signing bonus, but the deal automatically voided if Campbell was still on the roster as of February 12, 2021.  That meant the Campbell and the team had to reach a new deal by February 12th to prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent, which did not happen.
I was not overly enthused by the Campbell signing initially after looking up his Pro Football Focus  grade for Arizona (49.0 last year) and noting the steep decline in his compensation.  So I went to sites devoted to the Arizona Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons to find out more about him.  Note that I am unfamiliar with those authors and whether they are competent analysts. 
The Cardinals had and still have a comfortable salary cap situation, more than enough to easily have accommodated the deal Campbell signed with Green Bay.  Of course, they used void years to sign JJ. Watt and let Hassan Reddick and his 12.5 sacks walk (though Reddick only was able to earn a one year, $6 million deal).  The Cardinals signed Jordan Hicks as a free agent to play the mike position in 2019.  I note that Hicks received good grades from Pro Football Focus in three of his four seasons with the Eagles, but his grades declined as an ILB in Arizona in 2019 and 2020 (61.0 and 50.4).  Despite the PFF grades, Hicks was named a team captain for 2020.  Perhaps there is something about the Cardinals' scheme that negatively affects the PFF grades of its inside linebackers.
In this article on Cardswire  Jeff Root was not sure whether Campbell could play the mike position and also noted that Hicks had accepted a $3 million pay cut for 2021.  The Cardinals drafted Isaiah Simmons with the eighth overall pick in 2020, but Campbell played ahead of Simmons for most of last season.  The Cardinals followed that up by selecting Zaven Collins with the sixteenth pick in this year's draft.  Those moves probably sealed Campbell's fate in Arizona, assuming that the Cardinals had not always viewed Campbell as a one-year stopgap.  The Cardinals' Head Coach Kingsbury made it clear that the team expected Collins to start at the mike position and Ian Rapoport reported that the team had given Hicks permission to seek a trade. 
An article by Alex Weiner of Sports Illustrated  noted that Campbell had a strong start in Arizona but his productivity declined in the last five weeks of the season, a take which is in accord with a comment by one of our readers in a previous article.  Weiner noted that Campbell dealt with some minor injuries later in the season and lost snaps to Simmons as the season wore on but was not sure if the loss of snaps was simply due to the Cardinals' natural desire to see what they had in Simmons or if it was based on the merits. 
Walter Mitchell of Revenge of the Birds opined that Campbell was better in man than in zone coverage.  In this  mid-season article, Mitchell noted that Campbell's PFF grade was 48.5 after the first ten games in 2020.  Campbell only has one season with a PFF better than 56, but PFF is not gospel.
The Falcoholic described Campbell as a durable player at strong side linebacker who had some flaws but set a good edge during his four years in Altanta.  The Falcoholic assumed that Campbell would get mid-tier money that the Falcons could not match.   This  article from the 2019 season is uncomplimentary, but it has some video of specific plays highlighting Campbell's issues.
The $1 million signing bonus suggests that Campbell will make the 53-man roster short of falling flat on his face.  I am encouraged by Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin and the teams seems to be so as well; I suspect that the Packers signed Campbell for depth and insurance.  It may be aimed at Oren Burks (28.6 PFF grade in 96 snaps), and less likely, at Ty Summers.  It will be interesting to see if Joe Barry gives Campbell reps at the mike position in training camp and preseason games.  It appears that Campbell plays on just one special teams unit given that his career high is 76 snaps on special teams.  Burks played 335 special teams snaps in 2020. 
Still, Campbell is big, fast and has a huge wingspan (80 and 7/8ths inches) along with a ton of experience as a starter.  He has been living on that height/weight/speed projection.  It may be that the guaranteed money spigot closes if he does not produce soon.  Perhaps Joe Barry can bring out his best.
Overthecap has the Packers with $5.01 million in cap space.  Looking forward to the first game of the season when the PS and 52nd/53rd contracts count, I have the Packers with 428K in cap space.  They still need to generate $3 to $5 million more in cap space.      
 
 
Filed Under:Green Bay Packers Featured James Reynolds NFL Categories:Green Bay Packers Tags:salary cap Roster Construction De'Vondre Campbell 
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Packers first outside FA that will probably make the team.

Sounds like he has some clear flaws, but good size and speed if you can use him to his strengths.

His rookie year was with LaFleur (though opposite sides of the ball). Based on some other stuff I've read, it sounds like he's a good chase LB.
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